Truckers hauled nearly 500 tons of steel from the World Trade Center in New York City to a planned 9/11 memorial site in Coatesville, PA, on Wednesday, April 14.
OOIDA Member Rudy Acevedo of Cantonment, FL, led the convoy of 28 trucks on the 206-mile journey from New York back to the Pennsylvania mill town where the steel girders were forged years ago. He told Land Line Now he draped his 61,000-pound load of steel with an American flag for the trip.
A native New Yorker, Acevedo said being a part of this convoy had extra meaning for him. He was picked to lead the convoy of Landstar trucks because his childhood friend’s son was one of the firefighters killed when the twin towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.
“It was really touching for me,” he said. “I am a product of New York.”
One of the highlights of the trip for Acevedo was seeing the reaction from people as the convoy of trucks passed by.
“People were just cheering and as the closer we got, the deeper we got into Pennsylvania, the bigger the welcoming committees got and it was awesome, it was great, it was fantastic that the spirit of America still lives,” he said.
Eric Flynn, an agent with Landstar Global, was charged with handling the logistics of returning the steel supports, which were forged in the 1960s by the Lukens Steel Co. of Coatesville, PA.
Flynn added that those steel supports were the only U.S. steel used in building the World Trade Center. The rest of the steel was imported from Japan.
“We did all of the rigging, the loading, the transportation,” Flynn said.
He said that all of the drivers were a part of hauling the steel back to Pennsylvania were “very sensitive” about what they were hauling. Flynn said that while they had to use chains to secure their loads, he said the drivers expressed concerns about “scratching the steel” after all that it had been through.
For Acevedo, he said “it was an honor to do this.”
– By Reed Black, staff writer